A suit against C.R. England over unpaid wages and other compensation has settled … again.
After a deal was reached in May, one of the plaintiffs in the class action filed an objection to the roughly $18.6 million settlement.
But in a decision handed down late last week, federal district court Judge David Nuffer put his final approval on the settlement, dismissing the objections of Marty Cook. The original lawsuit dates back to 2016.
The issues in the C.R. England suit are the fairly standard panoply of charges generally found in lawsuits regarding compensation: failure to pay minimum wage, failure to pay overtime, failure to provide accurate itemized wage statements and so on. But it also dealt with fees connected to the company’s CDL training program.
The settlement approved recently is only slightly different from what was approved in May. According to the judge’s order filed last week, C.R. England voluntarily agreed to add slightly more than $53,000 to the settlement, with that amount to be distributed among 126 specific members of the class.
“Although Objector Cook’s objections have helped the Court carefully examine the issues and highlighted the benefit of the adversarial process, ultimately, Cook raises only debatable possibilities,” Nuffer wrote. “Indeed, the ultimate outcome of the litigation is in doubt and Plaintiffs’ claims are far from certain. There also exists case law that contradicts Objector’s contentions.”
The final document does spell out some of the data from the outreach to class members after the original settlement. Mail notices were sent to 12,810 people, informing them they would receive a share from the settlement as well as debt forgiveness associated mostly with CDL training costs. Of those addresses, 1,830 were returned as not deliverable, but 922 of them were then located.
The number of class members who opted out: eight. Cook was listed as an objector.
The settlement also notes that Cook is a plaintiff in another suit against C.R. England. And in his objection, Cook provided calculations that said the value of the settlement should be between $900 million and $1 billion.
Cash to be paid to the class members in the class is small: just $146. But there is also debt forgiveness in the settlement, and the total average benefit to each class member will be more than $1,300, according to the court document.
Attorneys’ fees are less than normal. At $1.44 million, they come in at 7.74% of the settlement, far less than the usual 25% to 33% in many lawsuits.
The four named plaintiffs in the case each get $12,000.